All eyes are on the Honorable Stan Baker.
As noted in your Aug. 5 editorial, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has failed to do the right thing. Last month, the agency lodged a consent decree outlining a clean-up plan for Terry Creek that will not meet our community’s needs and will not protect our environment.
But there’s still hope. Judge Baker has been assigned the case to rule whether the U.S. District Court will accept the bad decree or not.
Until very recently, Judge Baker was a prominent member of our community. He knows the value of Glynn County and the importance of providing healthy spaces for residents and visitors. Judge Baker also knows the law. He understands that federal statute requires hazardous waste site remedies (even those agreed to in a consent decree) to meet particular criteria, including public acceptance, effectiveness and protection of human health.
In this case, our community has soundly rejected the plan outlined in the decree. Through letters, government resolutions, and demonstrations, we have asked the EPA for remedies to eliminate human exposure by using box culverts and allow for redevelopment such as the Glynn Avenue Design Framework. Most important is that EPA’s decree inadequately protects human health and the environment. Covering up toxins with soil and rock leads to extended contamination as sea levels rise and storm surges increase.
We look to Judge Baker to deny the consent decree and provide Glynn County a chance to move beyond the toxic legacy Hercules left behind.